Cutting the cost and complexity of password resets

5 October 2010

A new self-service solution from HTK using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) significantly cuts the cost and time wasted resetting forgotten, expired or compromised passwords. With more passwords to remember and the cost of a typical reset around £30, HTK’s new IVR-based Horizon Password Reset service allows IT departments to significantly cut their costs by automating the password reset process.

Users simply call the IVR service and are taken through a set of pre-defined steps for identification and verification. Importantly, the Horizon Password Reset service enables multi-factor security without the need for users to carry a dedicated security token. The wide-range of available authentication options include recognition of the calling phone number, the keyed-entry of digits, biometric speaker verification using a pre-enrolled pass-phrase, and even a ‘challenge-question and response’ using SMS text messaging.

Authentication options can be tailored for specific user-groups to provide an optimal blend of security and convenience. This can include a progressive strategy that will introduce additional security factors as needed. For example, whilst the industry-leading biometric technology used by Horizon enables an ‘equal-error rate’ of just 3%, the system may be configured to ask for additional information – such as a numeric PIN – if the confidence-level is below a defined threshold.

SMS and email notifications can also be configured to let users know that their password has been reset, or to alert a system administrator when a reset has been attempted but blocked. The ability for Horizon to send a range of real-time notifications to users and administrators, by email or SMS, adds a further layer of security and confidence.

Horizon Password Reset can be integrated with corporate directories such as Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP and other password systems. What’s more, the application is simple to set-up and configure through the web-based Horizon user interface.

“According to IDC, in a 10,000 user organisation the average employee will have 14 different passwords to remember, so it’s no surprise that forgotten passwords and scheduled password changes can account for up to 40% of a helpdesk’s activity and cost between £20 and £40 for each reset,” said Marlon Bowser, CEO at HTK. “Horizon Password Reset solves that problem, cutting the time and cost involved in dealing with password resets to ensure that users always have a fast and convenient way to secure access to their corporate networks.”

HTK is certified with the ISO27001international standard for information security management.

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